News Spectrum

News Spectrum

2013 GSLS Hosts Over 500

More than 500 attendees from 32 countries attended the 2013 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), a two-and-a-half day conference presented by exclusive media sponsor Contact Lens Spectrum. This year’s GSLS featured a comprehensive education program from a 40-member international faculty as well as updates on the latest innovations from 46 exhibiting companies. The 2013 program was designed to cover every aspect of the specialty lens practice, from fundamentals to post-surgical fitting and patient management issues. The meeting included information for vision care professionals in all disciplines. Accredited for continuing education under COPE, NCLE, and JCAHPO, the meeting offered approximately 30 credit hours.

Key topics covered included research on myopia control, the latest in our understanding of corneal shape, management of irregular corneas, fitting presbyopes, large-diameter lens fitting and complications, an update on corneal cross-linking, lens care and risk factors impacting safe contact lens wear, and much more.

Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, OAM, received the inaugural GSLS Award of Excellence, which is presented to an individual whose lifetime achievements and contributions have advanced the field of contact lenses. Professor Holden is a world leader in vision science, eye health, and blindness prevention. His contributions extend across research, education, public health, and social enterprise. He has generated more than $1 billion in research, education, and humanitarian funds over the last 20 years and has been described as “the most influential optometrist of our generation.”

The 2013 GSLS meeting also included a variety of free papers as well as both a poster and a photo content. More than 50 clinical and scientific posters were submitted. Winners of the 2013 poster awards were: Investigation of Myopic Periphery Affecting Choroidal Thickness (IMPACT): 1-Month Results by Dustin Gardner, OD, et al; Use of Daily Wear Multifocal Contact Lenses in the Treatment of Convergence Excess by Erin Kindy, et al; Toric Haptics in Scleral Lens Design: A Case Series by Muriel Schornack, OD, FAAO; and Eye Surface Profiler: A New Quality in The Measurement of Anterior Eye Surface by D. Robert Iskander, PhD, DSc.

A full-length feature article on the 2013 GSLS will appear in the April issue of Contact Lens Spectrum.

The 2014 Global Specialty Lens Symposium is set for Jan. 23 to 26, once again at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.


Bausch + Lomb (B+L) launched “The Ultimate Movie Experience Sweepstakes” to promote a conversation between eyecare practitioners and patients about achieving optimal vision even in lowlight settings such as movie theaters. The Ultimate Movie Experience Sweepstakes began Feb. 4 and will run through April 28. It offers practitioners educational materials and samples of lenses to help them introduce their patients to the potential of B+L’s PureVision2 or SofLens Daily Disposable lenses. In-office materials will include posters, tear pads, counter cards, and a trivia game that will also be available for patients in the waiting area. Patients who participate have a chance to win one of 10,000 free movie rentals or a weekly drawing for a 46″ Samsung HDTV.

Vistakon and its Acuvue brand contact lenses are helping high school students get ready for prom season with the Girl’s and Guy’s Grooming Guides for Prom. The guides are available at and The girls’ guide offers makeup tips and suggestions for discussing special occasion contact lens wear with an eyecare practitioner. The Guy’s Grooming Guide for Prom helps answer young men’s personal care questions about the big day and offers solutions to many common grooming problems.

■ ABC News reported that Google recently gave people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing. “Google Glass” was to be offered to “bold, creative individuals” selected as part of a contest held in February. Winners, who will be announced later this month, will receive the “Explorer” version of Google Glass, a forerunner of the product that is expected to be released to the mass market next year. Google Glass is supposed to perform many of the same tasks as smartphones, except the spectacles respond to voice commands rather than fingers touching a display screen.

■ The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.), the first implanted device to treat adult patients who have advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The device, which includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted retinal prosthesis (artificial retina), replaces the function of degenerated cells in the retina and may improve a patient’s ability to perceive images and movement. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis.

Vision Source announced the opening of the Vision Source Ambulatory Surgical Center at the University of Houston, the first surgery center in the nation to be housed at and affiliated with a college of optometry. The Center is a fully licensed ambulatory surgery center whose primary activity will be to perform ophthalmic surgery of all types. It is equipped with the latest technology and is one of only 50 centers in the nation, to offer bladeless cataract surgery.

New Professional Development Division at Vistakon

Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., has created a new Professional Development group, combining its Professional Affairs, ODLean Consulting Program, and Optometry School educational efforts into one department.

Damian May, PharmD, MBA, was named the senior director, Strategy and Professional Development, and Dick Wallingford, OD, FAAO, was named senior director, Professional Affairs. Dr. Wallingford will continue to lead the company’s professional affairs activities with associations and eyecare practitioners as well as oversee management of its optometry school programs. W. Lee Ball, OD, FAAO, will continue to work with Dr. Wallingford to support these efforts.

Dr. May has been with Johnson & Johnson for seven years and since 2008 has been responsible for Market Access & Strategy for Vistakon. Dr. Wallingford joined Vistakon in 2008. He is a past president of the American Optometric Association, a member of the Governing Board and the Treasurer of the World Council of Optometry, and the World Foundation for Optometry.

Unilens Launches SiHy Multifocal

Unilens Vision Inc. has launched its new silicone hydrogel C-Vue HydraVue Multifocal contact lens for monthly replacement. The new product incorporates Unilens’ patented Multifocal design technology in a silicone hydrogel material, which offers the benefit of higher oxygen transmissibility for better eye health.

According to Unilens, it is C-Vue’s proven, patented rapid transition zone design technology, incorporated within the lens itself, that provides for excellent near, far, and everywhere in-between visual outcomes without the need for patients to wear bifocal or reading glasses.

The C-Vue HydraVue Multifocal is available in High and Low add power ranges and will be sold exclusively to independent eye care professionals. More details on the lens including parameters will appear in the next Product Spectrum.

SynergEyes Launches New Lens for Keratoconus

UltraHealth, a hybrid contact lens for patients who have irregular corneas and keratoconus, is now available from SynergEyes, Inc. Designed for emerging, mid-stage, and advanced keratoconus, UltraHealth is available from more than 24 distributors in 40 countries, including the United States and Canada.

The reverse geometry design includes a combination of a soft skirt (Dk 84) and central GP material (Dk 130). The design creates a central area of vault, available in several vault heights. The silicone hydrogel skirt is available in three curves. The company says that the reverse geometry design allows the lens to achieve the vault required to contain the cone with a flatter base curve compared to a standard geometry design, resulting in an optimized lacrimal lens and requiring a lower minus lens power. The flatter base curve radius also allows the centration of UltraHealth to be less dependent on the location of the cone, according to SynergEyes. More details on the lens will appear in the next Product Spectrum.

New Rose K Lens Available

In January, Menicon launched its Rose K2 XL large-diameter lens, designed and developed by Dr. Paul Rose. The new design is primarily indicated for keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post graft, corneal rings, post-LASIK ectasia, advanced dry eye, and any irregular corneal condition that cannot be successfully fitted within the limbus. Menicon says that the lens is also indicated for polluted work conditions, stability for sports or working environment, corneal GP intolerance, and as an alternative to piggyback lens systems.

Menicon says that the Rose K2 XL is easy to fit, even for practitioners who have not previously fitted a Rose K lens or a semi-scleral design. It uses a simple systematic approach that is an extension of the existing Rose K fitting philosophy. The lens features an aspheric back optic zone that decreases as base curve steepens, front-surface aberration control, and precise edge lift control. Manufactured in Menicon Z, Lagado Tyro 97, or Boston XO (Bausch + Lomb), the Rose K2 XL is available in a wide parameter range including nine edge lift options. Additional information on the Rose K2 XL design will appear in the next Product Spectrum.

Akerman Takes on New Role at Alcon

Alcon has announced that Dwight Akerman, OD, has been appointed head, Global Professional Affairs for the Global Vision Care Franchise, reporting directly to Eric Bruno, Global Franchise Head, Vision Care. According to Eric Bruno, “In his new role, Dwight will be responsible for creating the vision, strategy, and roadmap for Professional Affairs globally. He will also provide thought leadership, scientific and technical guidance, and be the voice/mindset of eyecare professionals to ensure that our products and services better meet the changing demands of the eyecare marketplace.”

Dr. Akerman has extensive experience in professional affairs, medical affairs, clinical research, and medical marketing. He has served as the head of Professional Affairs & Clinical Research for Wesley Jessen Corp., global head of Medical Marketing for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Ophthalmic Business Unit, director of Professional Affairs, Americas Region for Ciba Vision, and most recently, director of Professional Affairs for U.S. Vision Care.